The Rebellion of William Gallas

The news that William Gallas wouldn’t be joining his team-mates in the US is not what most Chelsea fans want to hear now – less than two weeks before we officially get the season underway with the traditional Charity Shield. The club’s statement about the situation no doubt reveals a deepening tension between the parties, something that’s come to a head since May.

As I’ve said before, I’m a Gallas fan, but I’m not a fan of stupidity. I’ve opposed his style from the very beginning, because it smacks of nothing but blackmail. I think the club’s position then (and now) is the right one. Gallas has had his time running around spreading stories in the press for the past three years (even as the ink was yet to dry on his last contract with the club). In May, the club finally called his bluff and insisted on him seeing out his contract, but then continued to offer him a new improved deal. In fact, the feeling amongst fans these past few weeks was that the worst is over and that he would finally be signing a new deal after his agent met with Peter Kenyon to thrash out things during the World Cup. And then he comes up with this.

Before Abramovich arrived, the excuse for him wanting to leave was that we’ve won no silverware. Thereafter, it became a renegotiation of his contract. After that, it became a question of being played out of position or more precisely out of a position he’d prefer. Yet, everyone knows that we only play him on the left when we had to, because of his versatility and because of injury and loss of form of our left-backs.

Up to May, Chelsea have borne the player’s escapades in the press without response. All they’ve done was to quietly reassure him. Mourinho even had a fallout with Carvalho publicly precisely because of him playing Gallas in the centre-back position ahead of the former. Chelsea have now met all his requirements, including making arrangements to ensure that he’s played in his favourite position from next season by buying this summer. In fact, the talk with Arsenal about Ashley Cole is towards ensuring that we have two quality left-backs so as not to have a reason to call on him for that role. Chelsea are obviously doing everything to make him know he’s valued; so, what else does he want? Why is he coming up with such shitty attitude as the latest one?

I think Chelsea should keep him till his contract expires next year, as the club have stated earlier. We don’t need the money and we will buy a good enough replacement for him while he stays around and watch the team win things from the sidelines (if he continues to act in this unprofessional manner). Already, he’s the loser in this affair, because he’s out there somewhere moaning while his team-mates are having a ball in America. In fact, the news now is that Ballack has the No. 13 shirt, which is great, considering that Gallas values it no more. Pig-headedness won’t take him anywhere and he must know deep down that wherever he goes he can never surpass his career or achievements at Chelsea. If he thinks the grass is greener on the other side, a little dose of reality would soon set in when he finally steps out of the Bridge.

I know Gallas is a fans’ favourite and in matters like this, there’s always the tendency from certain quarters to blame others but Gallas for the situation. Be that as it may, I believe his refusal to show up in the US as agreed confirms his lack of respect for the club and the fans that have made him. Whatever his grouse with the club (which has been well-publicized), he owes it to the club and the fans to show up and honour his commitments to the club as long as his contract subsists, even if he’s still hell-bent on not signing the new one offered him. He may be a great player (and we certainly will miss him football-wise when he eventually moves on), but right now he’s plummeted more in my estimation. I would expect the club to take appropriate disciplinary action against him, while making him see out the remaining year of his contract.

Of course, there are those who’d wonder whether he’d be committed to the cause having showed this unprofessional side of his personality; but I personally wouldn’t bother about that. Thank God Chelsea are a massive club with many great players who can pull together and deliver. In fact, if need be, we can always go out there and acquire an equally good or even better player than him. Whatever the situation, I trust Mourinho and the people in charge to take appropriate action to negate his potential loss or non-performance on the field. But he must not be allowed to leave now, no matter his antics. What he’s doing is blackmail and the club must not fall for it. Apart from keeping him away from our competitors, it is important to prove the point that bad and unprofessional behaviour won’t cut it at Chelsea. We must not allow a bad precedent that other players in the future may want to exploit.